We recently traveled to visit family for the first time with a toddler. We also had our baby in tow and wanted to make the journey as easy as possible for everyone. Although car seats are not required for kiddos on planes, we thought that having our bigger one in a car seat might make him more comfortable sitting in his own seat, more likely to sleep, and less likely to spend the whole flight crawling on us (one of us was also needing to hold the baby!). We narrowed our search for a travel car seat down to the very popular, very affordable Cosco Scenera and the less affordable but foldable WayB Pico. The foldability won out and we decided to splurge on the WayB Pico. Read on for my thoughts!
OK, so what is the WayB Pico? It’s this pretty genius car seat that weighs only 8 lbs and folds up for easy carrying in hand, strapped to luggage, or as a backpack. It’s easy to install in a plane or with the LATCH features on a car. It costs $330. It is recommended for kiddos that weigh at least 22 lbs and are 2 or older. My kiddo is an average 2 year old and fit fine.
It’s worth adding that I tried to find evidence that the Pico isn’t safe. I couldn’t find any. Of course the WayB people have certified that it meets all the appropriate safety standards. I still wasn’t 100% reassured, with it being relatively new on the market, but I figured (1) the actual plane is relatively safe and I know many people fly without any car seat and (2) we were not driving a ton in our actual destination. For sure I feel more comfortable with him in the massive tanks — Nuna Rava and Clek Foonf — that we use at home, but I sure wasn’t going to cart either of those to our destination!
OK, so how did it go? Here I’ll do a pros and cons list for ease.
- Super lightweight and easy to carry through the airport. We set it on top of our checked bag to start and then moved to the backpack method for most of the rest of the time. We didn’t buy the carrying case and it was fine. Folds really easily. Great option if you are just using your hands vs. strolling through the airport. (For reference, my husband, toddler, and I carried the following after checking our one large suitcase: baby in Ergo baby carrier, WayB Pico, Osprey backpack, toddler backpack, toddler Trunki)
- Unlike harnesses, this is a proper car seat that can be used in the car at your destination, in your Uber to the airport, etc.
- Easy to buckle into the airplane and into the car without all the questions and adjustments that we do for a normal seat. For the car we used the LATCH system.
- Felt high quality and well-made.
- The WayB Pico does not look as comfortable as some other car seats. Although there is a head rest, if your kiddo is used to a big plush car seat, this may not replicate that feeling.
- Relatedly, it is also very upright on the airplane, making sleeping difficult for my kiddo. My husband helped by holding the toddler’s head while he slept. Also, toward the end of the flight I unfastened the seat lock to try to see if that would help increase the angle, but the toddler wasn’t napping at that point so we didn’t get to test out whether that helped.
- If your child, like mine, is used to riding rear facing, they may feel uncomfortable using the front-facing WayB Pico on the airplane and in the car. My kiddo freaked out on the plane, and we figured it was because flying is weird. But then when we landed and put the Pico in the car, he was still freaking out, yelling “No down!!!” and “No bumps!” among other things. I presume it was largely due to the difference between rear and front facing, but it also could have been due to the general different feel of the Pico vs. his bulky convertible seat. Throughout the week of driving, this slowly diminished, and by the time we took our second flight, he seemed more OK. If I could go back in time, I would probably take my child for a few shorter drives in the WayB Pico before getting on our first flight so he could get used to it.
What is your travel set up for your littles? Have you tried the WayB Pico or the competing Cosco Scenera?